Sustainability Studies Minor

Environment, Ecology, and Energy Program

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3202 Murray Hall, CB# 3275

(919) 962-1270

Paul W. Leslie, Chair

Amy E. Cooke, Director of Undergraduate Studies

Violet Anderson, Student Services Manager

The program provides an understanding of sustainability, a unifying approach to human and environmental problems. Sustainable businesses, communities, and other organizations seek to design systems in ways that optimize material and energy use to decrease environmental and health problems and to bolster economic vitality and social equity. A growing number of scholars are framing problems and solutions in the language of sustainability, which balances growth and development with justice and environmental stewardship in order to meet today’s needs without undermining the ability of future generations to do the same.

Students who major in the B.A. or B.S. environmental degree programs are not allowed to minor in sustainability studies.

Department Programs



Graduate Programs


In addition to the program requirements listed below, students must:

  • take at least nine hours of their minor "core" requirements at UNC–Chapel Hill
  • earn a minimum of 12 hours of C or better in the minor (some minors require more)

For more information, please consult the degree requirements section of the catalog.

Core Requirements
ENEC 210Energy in a Sustainable Environment Seminar1
or ENEC 204 Environmental Seminar
or ENEC 593 Environmental Practicum
ENEC 330Principles of Sustainability 13
or ENEC 431 Sustainable Cities: Exploring Ways of Making Cities More Sustainable
One of the following:3
Internship in Sustainability
Environmental Internship (for at least three credits)
Capstone: Analysis and Solution of Environmental Problems
Three elective courses chosen from:9-12
Sustainable Business and Social Enterprise H
Environmental Advocacy
Environmental Advocacy
Introduction to Environment and Society H
Introduction to the Environmental Sciences
North Carolina Estuaries: Environmental Processes and Problems
Conservation of Biodiversity in Theory and Practice
Data Analysis and Visualization of Social and Environmental Interactions
Energy and Material Flows in the Environment and Society
Water in Our World: Introduction to Hydrologic Science and Environmental Problems
Water Resource Management and Human Rights H
Environmental Law and Policy
Coastal Law and Policy
Agriculture and the Environment H
Global Environment: Policy Analysis and Solutions
Mountain Preservation
Principles of Energy Conversion
Community Design and Green Architecture
Environmental Life Cycle Assessment
Coastal and Estuarine Ecology
Ecosystem Management
Business and the Environment H
Environmental Risk Assessment
Human Impacts on Estuarine Ecosystems
Sustainable Coastal Management
Landscape Analysis
Environmental Decision Making
Special Topics in Environmental Science and Studies H
Policy Analysis of Global Climate Change
Environment and Development
Environmental Change and Human Health
Energy, Transportation, and Land Use
Environmental Storytelling
Ecological Analyses and Application
Watershed Planning
Environmental Communication and the Public Sphere
Policy Instruments for Environmental Management
Capstone: Analysis and Solution of Environmental Problems
Environmental Health
Natural Resources
Human Ecology of Health and Disease
Introduction to Geographic Information
Geology of Beaches and Coasts
Energy: Physical Principles and the Quest for Alternatives to Dwindling Oil and Gas
and Energy: Physical Principles and the Quest for Alternatives to Dwindling Oil and Gas
Cities of the Past, Present, and Future: Introduction to Planning
Solving Urban Problems
Urban Transportation Planning
State and Local Politics
Total Hours16-19

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

The minor requires a minimum of 16 credit hours.

See the program page here for special opportunities.